Japan's gym gear learns to speak Bluetooth

All gym equpiment will soon be able to keep track of our health and to share it with the rest of the hardware.

Those of us happy to lead a quiet, perhaps even sedentary, life could be in for a jolt, as gym-going fitness freaks are about to get an even larger stick with which to beat us when a new Japanese system for networking healthcare equipment makes an appearance.

The aim of the project run by Mitsubishi , Citizen , Sharp , Hitachi and Tanita is to establish a standard that allows heart monitors, exercise bikes, treadmills and the like to share data with each other, either through cables or wirelessly. The consequent accumulation of information will be used to keep track of an individual's wellbeing every time he or she uses any piece of equipment.

Vital statistics

So far, the ' Development of High-performance Health Evaluation Equipment for Home Healthcare ' system has successfully passed field trials in which machines used Bluetooth links to correlate information about users' blood pressure, heart rate, body composition and more to give a comprehensive picture of their health and progress in training.

The next step is to prime the healthcare hardware market for the arrival of the new information-gathering facilities, which is likely to start next year. The Japanese national health service is due to be revised next spring to cope with both an aging population and new ways to manage healthcare.

J Mark Lytle was an International Editor for TechRadar, based out of Tokyo, who now works as a Script Editor, Consultant at NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Writer, multi-platform journalist, all-round editorial and PR consultant with many years' experience as a professional writer, their bylines include CNN, Snap Media and IDG.